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KMLF returns; Historic festival a success, missing bad weather over weekend

The 2021 Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival is now history, having dodged poor weather for much of the weekend.

The festival kicked off with an opening concert on Thursday at the Pineville High School football field. Before the music started, concertgoers were treated to introductions by Pineville Mayor Scott Maddon and KMLF 2021 Chairman Jacob Roan.

The opening night show also included introductions of the contestants for Mountain Laurel Festival Princess and Mountain Laurel Festival queen before the music began.

The concert portion of the evening was opened by Tyra Madison, who provided a high-energy performance warming the crowd for the headliners, Maddie and Tae. The award-winning pop-country duo with multiple hits to their credit performed into the night to the delight of the crowd.

The festival continued through the weekend with a number of attractions of all sorts peppering the streets of downtown Pineville. Though the weather did not completely cooperate with frequent rain and unseasonably cooler temperatures, that did not stop festival-goers from lining the streets to sample the vendors’ food and drinks, crafts, novelties, and other wares. There was also a variety of musical entertainment on an outside stage provided by a collection of impressive singers and bands, including local favorites the Kudzu Killers.

Gov. Andy Beshear was in town for the festival. Among other activities, the Governor took part in the Governor’s Luncheon at Pine Mountain State Park on Saturday, where he announced he would recommend funding for a $700,000 project for downtown Pineville.

On Friday, Emmaleigh Bargo, of Barbourville, took home the title of KMLF Princess.

Always a highlight of the festival, the Queen’s Coronation on Saturday saw Western Kentucky University’s Abigail Cantor crowned the 2021 Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Queen.

The Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival wrapped up on Sunday, ending the festivities until the festival comes to Pineville again next year.